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You have to clean your stamped concrete pavement regularly to maintain its attractive appearance. But how do you do it? Can you have it power washed for a thorough cleaning? We asked the experts about it and here are their recommendations.
Power washing is not recommended as part of your stamped concrete's regular cleaning and maintenance. It is best to use a broom and leaf blower before mopping the surface with warm water. If there are stubborn stains, you can use a power washer but make sure that the pressure isn't too high so that you won't damage the surface. Alternatively, you can use a mild cleanser to help lift off the marks on your pavement.
Keep on reading to know why power washing shouldn't be done regularly and learn about the recommended cleaning methods for your stamped concrete. Let's get down to the cleaning business!
Does power washing remove concrete sealer?
Choosing stamped concrete on your patio, driveway, walkway, or any part of your outdoor area is a good decision. It is a more affordable way of achieving a great look for your pavement. And many people are raving about this paving material requiring minimal effort for upkeep and maintenance. That's welcome news for homeowners who already have a lot to deal with when managing their households.
Regular maintenance is the key to having a pavement that looks new, even if it was installed years ago. This is one way of protecting your investment and ensuring that you make the most out of it.
A clean pavement always gives a nice impression among guests and even passersby who happen to see your patio area from the outside. It matters a lot in maintaining the curb appeal of your home sweet home. But when it comes to maintenance, there's a proper way of cleaning your stamped concrete lest you cause damage on its surface. Yes, there are some dos and don'ts so that you can achieve a neat surface without harming it.
Reasons to limit power washing
First on the don'ts list is power washing. You might have read varying opinions about this. In general, power washing isn't recommended as a regular part of your stamped concrete's maintenance.
Applying too much pressure on the pavement's surface will cause the sealant coating to break down. This will lessen the protection of your stamped concrete as the sealant acts as a barrier against moisture, dirt, and other foreign particles. It also shields the pavement from harsh environmental conditions. When it breaks down, there could be gaps and openings where these unwanted elements can enter and affect the structural integrity of your stamped concrete later on.
The sealer also protects the color and shine of your hardscaping material. When it is removed, it will affect the appearance of your stamped concrete. Its color will fade, and it'll look old and worn out.
However, you can still use a power washer once in a while. This is best done when your pavement needs a thorough cleaning due to stubborn dirt, and grime stuck on the surface. But experts advise that you set it to low pressure and do not point the tip too close to the surface. Given that it's not done regularly, this will lessen the impact of the power washer on your stamped concrete.
Can you use vinegar on stamped concrete?
Vinegar has many uses outside of the kitchen. Many homeowners have attested to its effectiveness in cleaning and disinfecting various areas of the house. However, using pure vinegar on your stamped concrete pavement is not recommended. Yes, it will clean the surface, but its acids will also dissolve the coat or finish leaving it dull and unprotected from various elements.
But if there are stains that need to be treated, you can mix two parts white vinegar with one part water to help you remove stubborn dirt and grime on the surface. The key here is to dilute the vinegar to have a higher pH level and are not too acidic.
After mopping or scrubbing the stamped concrete with vinegar, make sure that you rinse it thoroughly with water.
Can you use bleach on stamped concrete?
Bleach is another cleaning product that shouldn't be used on your stamped concrete pavement. It is made of harsh ingredients that can damage its surface. It can remove the sealant, which gives the concrete added protection from various environmental elements.
It'll also remove or reduce the color of your stamped concrete. This will make its appearance less attractive, so refrain from using bleach on your concrete pavement.
How do you remove stains from stamped concrete?
So, what is the best way to clean your stamped concrete, especially when there are visible stains on its surface?
Stains are an unsightly mark on your otherwise beautiful pavement. These marks can come from leaves, oils, chemicals, and tires. As we all know, stains can be hard to remove.
Here are the steps to cleaning your stamped concrete pavement.
1. Use a broom or leaf blower to remove dried leaves and loose particles on the surface.
2. Have a bucket of warm water and mop ready. Mop the pavement and rinse the mop once it gets dirty. Change the water as needed.
3. If the stains cannot be removed, you can use a mild and non-abrasive cleanser to help remove the stains faster. Use mild dish soap or laundry detergent for this job.
Click this link to find this mild cleaner on Amazon.
Avoid using cleansers with harsh ingredients as they can damage the stamped concrete's surface. They can cause the sealant to erode and make the pavement's color dull, which will affect its appearance.
How do you remove oil from stamped concrete?
Oil stains cause your pavement to have dark marks that can affect its overall appearance. It is also advised that you remove oil from the surface before you perform sealing and staining of your stamped concrete to ensure that the sealant and stains will adhere to the concrete properly.
There are different ways to go about this task depending on how long the oil has been sitting on the surface.
Removing freshly spilled oil
1. Spot clean right away. You can use a rag or even kitty litter to absorb the oil. Don't let it spread to other portions of the pavement.
2. Treat the oil stain. You can make a paste by mixing baking soda with water or detergent powder. Apply it to the affected area and use a brush to remove the stain.
3. You can also use a degreaser or mild dish soap to clean the newly-spilled oil.
Removing old oil stains
You can use different products to treat old oil stains, such as a degreaser, concrete cleaner, poultice, and even single-celled microorganisms that can eat up the oil.
Check out this degreaser on Amazon.
Check the manufacturer's instructions regarding their proper application to be effective in removing stains caused by oil and its derivatives.
Refrain from power washing your stamped concrete unless stubborn stains need to be treated. Your pavement requires little maintenance, so you can get by with a broom, leaf blower, warm water, and mop. Happy cleaning!
For more pavement cleaning tips, you may visit the following posts:
Should You Rinse Bleach Off Concrete?